The old newsroom

In the early 1990s, WAGA produced an inside-the-newsroom piece that, to my knowledge, never aired on TV. Maybe it was screened for sponsors and other clientele. I stumbled onto it on Youtube. It’s an eye-opener for many reasons:

  • Amanda Davis, very fetching in a Sheila E fauxhawk;
  • Images of behind-the-scenes folks like Jim Heath, David Boyd, Dan Anderson, Risa Blumen, Scotty MacLaughlin and John Chastain.
  • The old newsroom. When I first got there, desks had typewriters and ashtrays;
  • Morse Diggs and Dale Russell sporting what would now be considered ironic moustaches;
  • A certain news director, thirty pounds lighter, making chicken noises;
  • Paul Ossmann, downright boyish, showing off hilariously outdated weather technology triggered by “a garage door opener. Pretty neat, huh?”

The pictures illustrate one change: Back then, it was a boys club.  Nowadays, many of those behind-the-scenes faces belong to women. Visit any journalism school, and you’ll know this demographic trend is here to stay.

Indulge me. If you didn’t work at WAGA 15 years ago, you may have trouble appreciating this. Sorry.

And in the same spirit, here’s the late Leroy Powell, narrating a brief history of WAGA. It doesn’t show here, but go ahead and say it anyway: Leroy was a genius.

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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

10 thoughts on “The old newsroom

  1. rptrcub

    Thank you — when I look at this, I have wonderful childhood memories (yeah yeah yeah, I’m young) of back when we didn’t have cable, and were living in Clayton County where the planes flying to and from ATL messed with the reception. 2, 5, 8, 11, 17, 30, 36 and 46 were all we had (we couldn’t pick up 69 down there); 5 was still with CBS, 36 was still with FOX and 46 showed syndicated programming like ST:TNG. Those frequencies were where I was infected with the news bug — even though it manifested itself in the virulent newspaper strain.

    Reply
  2. JasonC

    Leroy Powell was great. Either WAGA or WSB created a board game back in the early-mid-80s based on being a journalist. I saw one a few years ago, it was a trip down memory lane for someone who grew up in ATL.

    Reply
  3. RonBurgundy

    Jim Shuler!!! Ken McLeod!!! I miss those guys. Cynthia Goode and Sally Sears, not so much. Lord could those two women grate on you.

    Reply
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  5. Jeff

    I always respected WAGA – with anchors like Jim Axel, Paul Shields, Chuck Moore and Pam Martin, they knew the city like a native. The station kept good people and they became family. (I was driving through Sandy Springs one day in the 70’s when I saw Paul Shields walking away from his car that had broken down. I gave him a ride back home and he was as nice as could be.) And keeping guys like Leroy Powell and Guy Sharpe around made it a local station that wasn’t ashamed to be in the South. Later, WAGA’s audio engineer, Harvey Morris, taught me a lot about audio and transmitters, for which I will be forever grateful. BTW Doug, watching your work always made me smile – you are a master.

    Reply
  6. sayejibley

    Funny how everything has changed except the technology. SAT recieve looks exactly the same. Also, I think I saw a picture of Callie Lubrant as a baby in there. I believe she’s in college now…

    Reply

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